Whipsawed by family relocations, young John attended some 20 schools before finally settling into Episcopal High School, an all-white, all-boys boarding school in Alexandria, Va., in the fall of 1951 for his last three years of secondary education. The school, with an all-male faculty and enrollments drawn mostly from upper-crust families of the Old South, required jackets and ties for classes.
But the scion of one of the Navy’s most illustrious families was defiant and unruly. He mocked the dress code by wearing dirty bluejeans. His shoes were held together with tape, and his coat looked like a reject from the Salvation Army. He was cocky and combative, easily provoked and ready to fight anyone. Classmates called him McNasty. Most gave him a wide berth.
“He cultivated the image,” Robert Timberg wrote in a biography, “John McCain: An American Odyssey” (1995). “The Episcopal yearbook pictures him in a trench coat, collar up, cigarette dangling Bogey-style from his lips. That pose, if hardly the impression Episcopal sought to project, at least had a fashionable world-weary style to it.”
Stay hungry. Stay curious. And above all, stay interesting. That’s the message I grasped from Anthony Bourdain.
Below are some of my favorite Bourdain quotes as posted on this blog throughout the years.
Don’t aspire to mediocrity. Even if you fail, try to be awesome. At something. Anything. It doesn’t matter. Just try to be awesome.
Life ain’t that simple . It IS complicated. And filled with nuance worth exploring.
Show up on time. It is the basis of everything.
We literally sit down and try to figure out, ‘What’s the most fucked-up thing we can do?’
I love having my teeth kicked in by a different perspective.
There are the type of people who are going to live up to what they said they were going to do yesterday and then there are people who are full of shit. And that’s all you really need to know. If you can’t be bothered to show up, why should anybody show up. It’s just the end of the fucking world.
Life ain’t that simple . It IS complicated. And filled with nuance worth exploring.
Bourdain never treated our food like he "discovered" it. He kicked it with grandma because he knew that HE was the one that needed to catch up to our brilliance.— Jenny Yang 👲🏼👲🏼👲🏼 (@jennyyangtv) June 8, 2018
I wish so much for his legacy to take hold in western (mostly white) food media culture. What a loss. I'm so sad.
An 86-year-old wrote an upbeat review for her local paper about a new Olive Garden.— Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) June 8, 2018
She was mercilessly mocked by the Internet.
Anthony Bourdain thought she had a valuable POV on small town dining.
He published a book of her reviews. Here's his intro.https://t.co/WHPbFXqGeh
“Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.” This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him. pic.twitter.com/orEXIaEMZM— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 8, 2018
Stay restless in peace pic.twitter.com/zXenYqlOkp— Colin James Nagy (@CJN) June 8, 2018
“Writing turns you into someone who’s always wrong. The illusion that you may get it right is the perversity that draws you on.”
— Philip Roth, American Pastoral
In 2016, Roth donated 3,500 of his books to his hometown library in Newark, his ‘other home.’ Among those were the fifteen books Roth said influenced his life the most.
- Citizen Tom Paine by Howard Fast, first read at age 14
- Finnley Wren by Philip Wylie, first read at age 16
- Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe, first read at age 17
- Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, first read at age 20
- The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow, first read at age 21
- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, first read at age 23
- The Assistant by Bernard Malamud, first read at age 24
- Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, first read at age 25
- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, first read at age 25
- The Trial by Franz Kafka, first read at age 27
- The Fall by Albert Camus, first read at age 30
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, first read at age 35
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, first read at age 37
- Cheri by Colette, first read at age 40
- Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz, first read at age 41
RIP Bill Gold, considered one of the best movie poster artists of all-time. Below are a couple snippets from the obituary in the New York Times but the whole article is worth reading.
Long before poster artists turned to photography and computer-generated images in the 1980s and ’90s, illustrators like Mr. Gold billboarded movies with freehand drawings, based on scripts and first screen prints, that hinted at plots and moods and mysteries, without giving away too much — priming audiences for love, betrayal, jealousy, murder.
“Classic movie posters are memorable; they are held in as much affection as the movies themselves,” Lars Trodson wrote on the film website The Roundtable in 2009. “When a classic movie is matched by a classic poster, you’re held in the thrall of a distinct and pleasurable memory. The poster image becomes part of the movie experience, and is, in the end, another of the reasons why movies are so essential to us.”
“I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.”
— Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Stephen Hawking was a visionary physicist who explored the universe and explained black holes. His 1988 release of [easyazon_link identifier=”0553380168″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]A Brief History of Time[/easyazon_link] remains one of the greatest selling science books of all-time.
But was perhaps best known for his remarkable endurance. Doctors gave him two years to live in 1963 after he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease which crippled him. He lost his voice in 1985, only to come back to write and talk via an Intel-powered speaking device. “Quiet people have the loudest minds,” he proclaimed.
Stephen Hawking lived to a remarkable 75 years old, born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death and dying today on Einstein’s birthday. The University of Cambridge celebrated his life with an inspirational montage with a Hawking voiceover.
“People who boast about their IQ are losers”
The cosmos queued him up to be a genius, but also a lifelong comedian. “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny,” Hawking told The New York Times in 2004 interview. He also said that “people who boast about their IQ are losers.”
Fortunately, he left his work for all of us. Just last year he released his 1966 PhD thesis titled ‘Properties of expanding universes’ to the public because he wanted to “inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet.”
Read the obituary in The Guardian.
“True journey is return.”
— [easyazon_link identifier=”0441478123″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Ursula K. Le Guin[/easyazon_link]
(via The New Yorker)
“I’m not interested in creating an object of decoration; that’s not what I do. My task is to create something that fits the surrounding or the area. If it were to be removed, you would miss it.”
Public art can shape its surroundings. But the same piece won’t work everywhere, as sculptor Lawrence Argent noted: “That bear was designed for Denver. It belongs in that particular place.’ The sculpture addresses this city, this life.”
I lost my best friend yesterday. She was 16 years old. She’d been around for about half of my life, ever since the day we bought her in a dog store off Madison Avenue. She was a New Yorker at heart, and a Yorkie after all.
But after dancing on the back porch at my wedding more than two years ago, Bebe started to slow down. She lost most of her vision and her hearing.
Bebe’s most admirable characteristic was her persistence. She never gave up. In fact, she just got cuter with age. Her hair continued to grow in knots. People thought she was still a puppy at 16. How could you disagree? Look at that face!
Bebe kept a cute face and a positive attitude despite her rapidly ailing body. She always remained happily focused in her own world even as the younger dogs wanted to play with her.
Last night, I lit a candle for Bebe at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and reread an email from my Mom sent earlier that day. My Mom had just received the book Dog Heaven from a family friend. My Mom wrote:
when dogs go to heaven they don’t need wings because God knows that dogs love running best. When a dog first arrives in heaven, she just runs. I think BeBe missed running and jumping the most.
I grew up with two brothers so Bebe was the second girl in our house. I always joke with my wife that Bebe was also my first girlfriend.
Death is a celebration of life. We’ll love and remember Bebe forever, just as we do Bullet, our Silkie Terrier that passed away five years ago.
We’ll always be in touch with you Bebe as you run and jump through the clouds in Heaven.
“I would have been fired a hundred times at a company run by M.B.A.’s. But I never went into business to make money. I went into business so that I could do interesting things that hadn’t been done before.”
I didn’t know this man was behind the brand.
He always made superior products that looked like Apple’s, in design and quality.
Dare to dream big.